X. Y. Chen,
J. D. Feng, and
Z. Su, Hainan Branch Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Wanning, 571533, China;
C. Sui, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, 100193 Beijing, China; and
X. Huang, Hainan Bikai Pharmaceutical Research Institute Co. LTD.
Curcuma wenyujin Y.H. Chen & C. Ling is a traditional Chinese medicinal herb in the Zingiberaceae family. Commonly known as Wen yujin, the root is widely used for alleviating pain and protecting the liver. A severe leaf blight disease was observed in three C. wenyujin farms in Hainan Province of China in October 2010. The obvious symptoms of leaf blight, yellow to brown irregular lesions (1 to 20 cm) on C. wenyujin, usually began at the tips of leaves and the main veins. This disease, especially severe from August to October, caused heavy damage and 100% of mature plants (10 months old) in farms were infected. The disease was most severe when continuous cropping was performed and showed slight improvement when rotation was adopted. Farmers usually sprayed carbendazim (50% WP) and thiophanate-methyl (70% WP) to control this disease, but these treatments were not effective. To isolate the causal pathogen, diseased plants were collected in October 2010 from a field of the Hainan Branch Institute of Medicinal Plant Development in Hainan Province. Lesion tissue was removed from the border between symptomatic and healthy tissue, surface sterilized in 75% ethanol for 1 min, washed in three changes of sterile distilled water, transferred to potato dextrose agar (PDA) plates, and incubated at 28°C for 7 days. Single spore cultures of five isolates were obtained and identified as Curvularia clavata based on morphological characteristics (1). Conidia measured 20 to 29 × 7.5 to 10.5 μm (n = 100), were curved, 3-septate, and the third cell from the base was larger and darker than the others. Mycelia of single spore cultures growing on PDA for 5 days were used for DNA extraction using a plant genomic DNA kit (TIANGEN, Beijing). The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the rDNA was amplified using primers ITS1 and ITS4. The amplicons were 562 bp in length (GenBank Accession No. JQ730852) and had 99% nucleotide identity with the GenBank Accession No. JN021115 and AF071336 of C. clavata. Pathogenicity tests were conducted using fresh and healthy detached Curcuma wenyujin leaves. Mycelial discs (10 mm) removed from a 5-day-old colony on PDA were used for inoculation. Each isolate was inoculated on three distinct leaves (two distinct inoculations per leaf). Three additional leaves inoculated with sterile PDA discs were used as control. Inoculated leaves were covered with a polythene film to maintain high humidity. Leaves in trays were kept in a growth chamber at 28°C and observed for symptom appearance every day. Five days after inoculation, inoculated leaves developed blight symptoms similar to those observed on naturally infected leaves. No symptoms were observed on non-inoculated leaves. C. clavata was reisolated from the inoculated leaves, thus fulfilling Koch's postulates. C. clavata has been previously reported to be economically important on a number of other hosts (2). To our knowledge, this is the first report of Curvularia leaf blight on Curcuma wenyujin caused by C. clavata in China.
References: (1) A. M Mandokhot et al. Eur. J. Plant Pathol.78:65, 1972. (2) T. Y. Zhang et al. Flora fungorum sinicorum: Beijing, China, 2010.